|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Locale Reference||airport : zzz|
|Altitude||agl bound lower : 0|
agl bound upper : 0
|Affiliation||government : faa|
|Function||other personnel other|
|Qualification||pilot : cfi|
pilot : atp
|Experience||flight time total : 4100|
|Anomaly||other anomaly other|
|Independent Detector||other other : unspecified|
|Resolutory Action||none taken : unable|
|Air Traffic Incident||other|
It came to my attention that bear repellent is being carried on small 135 acrs, not containerized. It is also possible to take a small container of mace, bear repellent through the electronic scanners at airport security areas and onboard 121 carriers. Bear repellent canisters do occasionally discharge inadvertently. The seal around the dispenser becomes deteriorated with time. In the event of an accidental discharge of bear repellent in the confines of an aircraft the pilot would assuredly become incapacitated with the loss of control of the aircraft as a result. Alaska pilots carry bear repellent on a regular basis. Regulatory change needs to be made naming bear repellent a hazardous substance and containerization mandatory. I will be sending a memorandum to AA1-200 in addition to this NASA report. Callback conversation with reporter revealed the following information: reporter feels that the hazardous material could accidentally or be purposely used to incapacitate a pilot. The spray is similar to 'mace.' it is a pepper spray that pilots and hunters carry with them to deter bears from the camp cites or any place else that a bear becomes a nuisance. It is an effective spray as many bears will move away from someone who is holding his hand out as if he is going to spray a bear. Enough bears have been sprayed that they have spread the word among the bear community to avoid the spray. The spray causes coughing, copious tears, and incapacitates a victim. Its effect is the same as a tear gas. As the gas is stored in a canister, there have been reports of valve failures which have caused uncommanded release of the gas. There have been no reports of any aircraft accidents or incidents from this spray, but reporter feels that so many people carry it, that an accidental discharge could come from a pilot or passenger. Since this I used by hunters who fly small aircraft, an accidental discharge in a small aircraft would fill entire aircraft, incapacitating all onboard. This repellent is marketed as a food product, thus there is no association with it as a hazardous material to the aviation community.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: HAZARDOUS ANIMAL REPELLENT ONBOARD ACFT.
Narrative: IT CAME TO MY ATTN THAT BEAR REPELLENT IS BEING CARRIED ON SMALL 135 ACRS, NOT CONTAINERIZED. IT IS ALSO POSSIBLE TO TAKE A SMALL CONTAINER OF MACE, BEAR REPELLENT THROUGH THE ELECTRONIC SCANNERS AT ARPT SECURITY AREAS AND ONBOARD 121 CARRIERS. BEAR REPELLENT CANISTERS DO OCCASIONALLY DISCHARGE INADVERTENTLY. THE SEAL AROUND THE DISPENSER BECOMES DETERIORATED WITH TIME. IN THE EVENT OF AN ACCIDENTAL DISCHARGE OF BEAR REPELLENT IN THE CONFINES OF AN ACFT THE PLT WOULD ASSUREDLY BECOME INCAPACITATED WITH THE LOSS OF CTL OF THE ACFT AS A RESULT. ALASKA PLTS CARRY BEAR REPELLENT ON A REGULAR BASIS. REGULATORY CHANGE NEEDS TO BE MADE NAMING BEAR REPELLENT A HAZARDOUS SUBSTANCE AND CONTAINERIZATION MANDATORY. I WILL BE SENDING A MEMORANDUM TO AA1-200 IN ADDITION TO THIS NASA RPT. CALLBACK CONVERSATION WITH RPTR REVEALED THE FOLLOWING INFO: RPTR FEELS THAT THE HAZARDOUS MATERIAL COULD ACCIDENTALLY OR BE PURPOSELY USED TO INCAPACITATE A PLT. THE SPRAY IS SIMILAR TO 'MACE.' IT IS A PEPPER SPRAY THAT PLTS AND HUNTERS CARRY WITH THEM TO DETER BEARS FROM THE CAMP CITES OR ANY PLACE ELSE THAT A BEAR BECOMES A NUISANCE. IT IS AN EFFECTIVE SPRAY AS MANY BEARS WILL MOVE AWAY FROM SOMEONE WHO IS HOLDING HIS HAND OUT AS IF HE IS GOING TO SPRAY A BEAR. ENOUGH BEARS HAVE BEEN SPRAYED THAT THEY HAVE SPREAD THE WORD AMONG THE BEAR COMMUNITY TO AVOID THE SPRAY. THE SPRAY CAUSES COUGHING, COPIOUS TEARS, AND INCAPACITATES A VICTIM. ITS EFFECT IS THE SAME AS A TEAR GAS. AS THE GAS IS STORED IN A CANISTER, THERE HAVE BEEN RPTS OF VALVE FAILURES WHICH HAVE CAUSED UNCOMMANDED RELEASE OF THE GAS. THERE HAVE BEEN NO RPTS OF ANY ACFT ACCIDENTS OR INCIDENTS FROM THIS SPRAY, BUT RPTR FEELS THAT SO MANY PEOPLE CARRY IT, THAT AN ACCIDENTAL DISCHARGE COULD COME FROM A PLT OR PAX. SINCE THIS I USED BY HUNTERS WHO FLY SMALL ACFT, AN ACCIDENTAL DISCHARGE IN A SMALL ACFT WOULD FILL ENTIRE ACFT, INCAPACITATING ALL ONBOARD. THIS REPELLENT IS MARKETED AS A FOOD PRODUCT, THUS THERE IS NO ASSOCIATION WITH IT AS A HAZARDOUS MATERIAL TO THE AVIATION COMMUNITY.
Data retrieved from NASA's ASRS site as of July 2007 and automatically converted to unabbreviated mixed upper/lowercase text. This report is for informational purposes with no guarantee of accuracy. See NASA's ASRS site for official report.